Proverbs 31:17-18 (Amplified Bible translation) – “She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm. She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good; her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the nigh [of trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt, and distrust].”
In many conversations I have had with women of all ages, when reading and discussing Proverbs 31:10-31, I have found a common thread: “HOW?! HOW does she do all of that?! I can’t do all of that! I’ll NEVER be able to achieve the Proverbs 31 woman profile!” I’m included in such thoughts at times as I search out the best method to begin my pursuit of the character traits listed in Proverbs 31, but I discovered a secret amidst my search. Are you interested in the secret? I sure was!
As I prayed and prayed about the traits of a Proverbs 31 woman, I sought out Scripture further. For those learning how to navigate the Scriptures, when you read something from the Old Testament, it is important and beneficial to search the New Testament for similar themes and challenges. This is called “cross referencing” and allows you to dig deeper and gain an even greater understanding of God’s Word across the entire canon of Scripture. This also helps you see the connections between the Old and New Testaments and the common themes across the Bible and invites you into an intimate view of God’s heart for His children throughout all time, from beginning to end.
“Okay, okay,” you say, “that’s great stuff, but let’s get to the secret already, will ya’?” Hang tight! We’re getting there, I promise!
The importance of the passage that I have pulled refers to a woman’s readiness and her strength. Luke 12:35 strongly encourages us to “be dressed in readiness, and keep [our] lamps lit.”
This correlates to the Proverbs 31 woman because she “keeps her lamp lit and it burns continually through the night.” This is not a literal lamp, but a spiritual lamp! Almost every woman I’ve talked to, at some point, has awakened in the middle of the night and has begun praying for someone or something by name. She may not fully understand this, but I believe this is a special gift the Lord has given women – a deep look into His Spirit’s cries for others. This is called intercession – an intricate part of the deep connection of the body of Christ. Spiritual readiness comes in many forms. We are warriors! (We, (women) are also worriers, don’t get me wrong, so let’s not get that confused!) So, next time you wake up in the middle of the night and you have no understanding as to why, search your heart, ask God to share a person or thing with you and begin praying fervently for them or it!
“The secret, Sarah! The secret!!” Almost there ladies, I promise! Chug along, we’re nearing our final destination!
The first part of Proverbs 31:17 denotes a woman strengthening herself spiritually, mentally, physically. Ephesians 6:10 and 14 challenge God’s children, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness.”
These verses mention two parts of the armor of the Lord – the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness. Where are two of the most vulnerable parts of your body? Your heart and your femoral artery area! Interesting that the belt is where truth lies. In a suit of armor, the belt is what holds everything in place. If a soldier didn’t have a belt, he could not wear his armor, nor properly be outfitted for war. So how do we equate this to today’s woman? We must keep our hearts and minds focused on the Lord and His Word – the TRUTH! We must maintain a firm foundation upon Scripture and His heart for us, which leads me to my final point before the big reveal.
1 Peter 1:13, “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” If we will keep our lamps lit, being ever ready to intercede for others and maintain standing upon a firm foundation, we will keep sober in spirit, fixing our hope on the promise of Christ’s return!
So, what’s the secret?? It’s really quite simple, ladies! STOP WORRYING and START WARRING! Gird yourself with your sword – God’s Word, His truth – to keep your armor on, and His righteousness – to protect your heart from the devil’s wiles. When we rest upon the Lord, we will, in turn, grow in God’s character and strength, but NOT OF OUR OWN ACCORD, but rather that OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. The beauty of the Proverbs 31 woman is not that she’s got it all together, but rather, that she seeks the Lord with all her heart, and allows Him to lead and guide her, she “considers a field and buys it”(Proverbs 31:16) but first she CONSIDERS it. Spiritually, this means surrendering to the Lord and allowing Him to give the wisdom and strength to make the right decisions.
So, ladies, to recap: The secret to the Proverbs 31 woman is simple; STOP WORRYING and START WARRING!